Softball: WW South goes to extras to stop Metea Valley

 
By D.J. Wanberg
Daily Herald Correspondent

Wheaton Warrenville South put together a solid combination of pitching, hitting and defense to down Metea Valley 4-3 in eight innings Wednesday in a Class 4A Naperville North softball regional semifinal.

However, the focus in the bottom of the eighth inning was on the Tigers' Katie Weisheit, who with one out and Kaitlyn Bresingham on base, came to the plate. She connected on a single to right for the winning run.

Weisheit said the victory came together because of contributions from the entire lineup.

"We played really hard as a defense, got the hits when we needed them and (winning pitcher Isabelle Fawcett) was amazing," Weisheit said.

That's not to say the WW South catcher didn't have fun belting the game-winning hit.

"It was awesome," she said, smiling.

Next for the Tigers (22-9), a sixth seed in the Plainfield North sectional, is a regional final showdown scheduled for Saturday against third-seeded Downers Grove North.

The Trojans beat WW South in extra innings on April 25.

"They are extremely talented in the circle and they can hit. We will need to play a good game, get runners on and execute," said Tigers coach Jeff Pawlak.

Metea Valley, an 11th seed, got on the scoreboard first, in the top of the opening inning. With one out Libby Eichberger doubled to left center. Emily Finger then followed with a single to left. Soon after, Finger got into a rundown between first and second, allowing Eichberger enough time to score although Finger was tagged out for the second out.

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The Tigers responded immediately in their half of the first. Carly Briggs singled to right and scored on Grace Georgiou's double to left.

WW South pulled ahead 3-2 in the third. Briggs led off the inning with a single and Bresingham reached on a throwing error. Georgiou's groundball out scored Briggs. Maggie Osborne, running for Bresingham, was safe on a throw to the plate, which put Francesca Lang on with a fielder's choice.

Winning pitcher Fawcett struck out 12 and set the Metea lineup down in order during three innings.

After the opening inning Metea (13-12) managed just two hits over the next four innings. Chances to hit were running out as the Mustangs batted in the sixth.

Rissa Bajusz led off with a double to center, Eichberger followed with her second double of the afternoon to score Bajusz and then Finger doubled to score Eichberger. Finger finished with 3 hits.

"I'm proud of our team for fighting back. We never gave up," Eichberger said. "We had a pretty good season. We had our ups and downs, but we always fought hard and had a lot of fun."

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